The Twins pulled off a pretty exciting extra-innings walk-off win last night, despite the combined efforts of the Red Sox and the blue shirts. The Gallo/Baldelli ejections got the crowd pretty worked up, and the out call on MAT at first base on the sacrifice, a bad call upheld by an even worse replay review -- well, let's just say things got fairly raucous and I had to issue a few polite reminders about profanity to nearby fans. At any rate, it was a sorely needed win, it was good to see Rocco get lathered up, and hopefully the win can spark a return to the form we saw early in the season when the pitching and hitting were on the same page in the same book most of the time.
Today the Twins wrap up a long homestand and their 4-game series with Boston with a businessman's special. Young Joe Ryan, 7-4 with a 3.30 ERA and 91 strikeouts, slings for the Minnesota nine with Justin Garza on the hill for the Sox. He's 0-1 and this appears to be his first start of the season, he's thrown 13 innings of relief in 12 games in 2023. Not sure how long he'll go, this could be a bullpen start for Boston and Garza is just the first leg.
It looks the the summer of our discontent is settling in on this 2023 Twins team. Third worst record since May 1 (behind the Royals and A's), 23 games under .500 since 2021, etc. But what's worse the Twins are just playing bad unfun baseball. Bonehead plays in the field, stupid baserunning, poor approaches at the plate, head-scratching match-ups and moves by the manager, former Twins tearing up the league in new uniforms. If the Twins were in any other division other that the AL Central, we'd be GOSOing the team already. Oof.
Bailey Ober on the mound tonight and he's been a nice little addition to the starting rotation. 0.99 WHIP, almost a K per inning. Looks like he could be a positive contributor for years to come. Kutter Crawford -- who has a name that should have been given to a minor character in Field of Dreams -- is "starting" for the Sox, but it looks like this may be a bullpen game for them.
First pitch at 6:40. Should be toasty warm at the ballpark if you head out.
Twins open a four game series at Target Field against the Red Sox. While the Sox have one more win than the Twins, they play in the AL East, which makes that figure mean something entirely different.
The Twins' offense is, uh, not good right now...
And as Rhu_Ru noted, in yesterday's game, "Gallo, Buxton, Kepler, and Jeffers K'd in all their ABs". So yeah, that's not great! We're getting one of those years where we do things like have a promising road trip then trip onto our faces against lesser teams. I fear this is going to be the type of team we have this year. Again. Rays of sunshine, bracketed by frustration. Uh, play ball!
As of today the Twins have a 31.3% chance of making the playoffs and a 1% chance of winning the World Series, but as of today I'd be willing to take that World Series bet at 100-to-1 odds. A modest wager, of course, it's way too early to lose our heads. Still, a 10-7 record that includes a split four game series at Yankee Stadium is the kind of start you dream about when you're blowing the latest eight inches of snow off your driveway in the dark at 5:00 p.m.
About that start. I'd say it's fair to say that our pitching is contributing considerably more to the team's winning record than is the offense. The Twins sit atop the Central division but rank in the bottom third of the AL in most offensive categories with a meager .224 batting average (13th) and a .653 OPS (85 OPS+/12th). The pitching, on the other hand, has been uncharacteristically good, and especially so the starting rotation. As a team the Twins sport a 2.61 ERA (169 ERA+), the best in the American League, 179 strikeouts in 151.2 innings pitched (10.6K/9), and a .996 WHIP.
Today the Twins send Kenta Maeda back to the mound in search of his first victory, at 0-2 he's the only starter without a win this young season. Despite the lack of a W, Maeda has respectable numbers with a 4.09 ERA (108 ERA+), 1.00 WHIP, and 12 strikeouts in 11 innings over his first two starts. The Beantown nine counter Maeda with Tanner Houck, 2-0 in three starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.
It's a rare local one team night as the Twins take on the Red Sox in Boston while the Wolves and Wild get a day off from the playoffs.
Boston seems to be scuffling again this year with a 8-9 record and I'm not really sure what their plan is. It seems like the ownership group has taken their eye off the ball so to speak and are more interested in their other teams they own (Liverpool, FC, Pittsburgh Penguins). Chris Sale on the mound for the Red Sox and it looks like he may be cooked. He's 1-1 for the year but has not looked good as his 11.25 ERA and 2.08 WHIP indicates.
Sonny Gray on the mound for the Twins after coming off a nice weekend split with the Yankees. Gray has been lights out this year and I'd like to see him go deeper into games now that he is apparently over his flu-like illness. Concerns about the bats as Max Kepler seems to be done as a MLB hitter and Byron Buxton has been dreadful since his 2nd base collision last week.
Looks like a pleasant night for a game in Boston and given the 6:10 game start, we can get to bed early to prep for the upcoming late night baseketball and hockey playoffs.
Four wins in a row, six loses in a row, back to four wins in a row. Talk about a roller coaster. Twins up against the reeling Red Sox and looking to keep that roller coaster on the upward. Hopefully the plunge isn't against the upcoming series against the Whities.
Red Sox have been bad this year, which given their resources, really speaks to the disorganization in the dugout and front office. I'm not even sure what the plan is with that team. Pitching for the Red Sox is Kutter Crawford who frankly would struggle to even make it on the Twins starting rotation. Chris Archer for the Twins and he's alternated between 4 and 5 innings his last few outings. So he's on tap for a 5 inning stint tonight.
Looks like glorious weather for a game with a first pitch slated at 6:40p.
As mentioned, the Twins have a grueling, crucial stretch in front of them. While a sweep of the Giants is nice, these next few series could well decide the course of the rest of the season.
Aaaaand one reason I said that is I guess I haven't been playing close attention because I thought the Red Sox were doing better than this. They're currently in last place in the AL East (though that designation naturally comes with some caveats) at 62-66. Still, I'm sure they could easily be in contention for the Central, so this won't be an easy series. Especially if the assbats are abound as has been a common feature lately.
We start off with some Bello on Bundy action tonight. Dylan allowed 2 runs in 5 innings against the Astros last time, but he didn't record a strikeout. Hopefully another Twins starter can hit six innings tonight.
Rise and shine! We've got early morning baseball. It must be especially odd for our friends on the west coast...
Old friend Dick Mountain is on the mound of the Sox. His first start against the Tigers wasn't great, so hopefully he won't start putting it together until after this game. On the flip side, let's hope Bundy keeps truckin' ahead today as well.
It's too early for assbats, damn it! Let's gooooo!
Happy "Byron Buxton is not seriously injured" day to all who observe.
A simple sigh of relief is customary on this most holy of baseball days, but some other local observances vary.
Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards intend to drop unholy amounts to buckets on the unsuspecting Memphis Grizzlies. Sonny Gray, meanwhile, has opted to strike out Red Sox by the dozen. I simply intend to drink a beer and soak in the celebratory atmosphere of Byron Buxton finally getting good news about an injury for once.
What's in everyone's glass on this fine Saturday afternoon? By all means, drop a note about any other sports-related happenings you happen to be taking in.
The last place Twins, 16 games under .500, play the Red Sox who happen to be 16 games over .500 in their annual trip to Fenway. After a good start of the season for the Red Sox, they've cooled down but still in line to play a Wild Card game, perhaps against the Yankees. I wonder if it will be televised?
A match-up between two rookies as Tanner Houck on the mound for the Sox and although 0-3 on the year, has pitched well and could be a decent back of the rotation guy for a while. Giffin Jax for the Twins. Primarily a fastball guy, it will be good for the Twins to see what they have in Jax over the next 6 weeks of the season.
Game time 6:10. Since it's against the Red Sox I think it's on ESPN+ if you subscribe.
Twins Line up
RF - Kepler
LF - Rooker
SS - Polanco
DH - Donaldson
3B - Arraez
C - Garver
2B - Gordon
1B - Sano
RF - Cave